An undocumented immigrant has been arrested for stabbing three crew members, one of them fatally, aboard a fishing boat just off the coast of Massachusetts.
Franklin Freddy Meave Vazquez was charged in federal court in Boston with one count of murder and one count of attempted murder within special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, according to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts. The vessel, which has its home port in Virginia, was floating near Nantucket when the fatal altercation unfolded the afternoon of Sept.23.
One of the crew members said a commotion drew him to the deck of the ship, where he was allegedly assaulted by the 27-year-old suspect. He saw another man already on the ground and bleeding from his mouth who died later in the day, according to charging documents.
Vazquez, wielding a knife and hammer, then allegedly struck a third shipmate before climbing up the boat’s mast. He was eventually captured by the remaining crew while the vessel’s captain put out a distress signal that was later answered by German cruise ship, the Mein Schiff 6.
Lindsay McDannold, who is going through a divorce with Vazquez’s father, told WCVB that her son-in-law has a drug problem.
“He is a heroin addict and he is addicted to pills,” she said. “I think that is probably what precipitated this issue.”
Vazquez earlier this year was charged with abduction by force, intimidation, or deception in Newport, Virginia for what McDannold said was an attack on her daughter. He was released on bond, according to the District Attorney’s office.
“In March, he assaulted her and strangled her and held her against her will,” McDannold said. “I think it’s a travesty. I think the court system failed. I think they should do a better job in terms of policing these people when they come in.”
Vazquez faces life behind if convicted and will be subject to deportation when he finishes serving any possible sentence.